Why is your Ideal Customer Profile so important?

As a salesperson, time is your greatest asset; make sure you spend your time wisely on the accounts that are most likely to use your services. In order to do this, you must define your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) to understand the specific types of companies for your sales team to pursue.

Defining your Ideal Customer Profile helps you to:

  1. Focus your sales and marketing efforts on the companies that are most likely to buy from you now.
  2. Sell to companies with the highest success potential of using your product or service. A customer that isn’t a good fit for your service drains time from your Customer Success team and may end up costing your company more than can be gained from the partnership.
  3. Create smart short-lists of companies to focus on, track buying signals within these accounts, and act fast when a window of opportunity presents itself to you as a salesperson.
  4. Be hyper-targeted in your marketing activities. Know your ideal customer profile, and you know whom to write content and whom to target your ads.

An Ideal Customer Profile is a model account whose characteristics indicate that they would gain significant value from your product or service and in turn, provide significant value to your company as well.

Basing your Customer Profile off of a gut feeling leaves a lot of room for error in judgement. Using insights from open data in understanding who your Ideal Customer Profile is will minimize the risk of missing many of the less obvious indicators of accounts that you and your team should ideally target.

Utilize insights from open data to create a detailed ideal customer profile

Take a look at a sample list of your best customers and evaluate similarities to more efficiently prospect new accounts. As you notice trends in company characteristics that tend to lead to higher hit rates, your sales team will be more effective in winning and driving business.

Create a target group in Vainu with the customers with which you’ve had the most success, and analyze their commonalities thoroughly. Look for both similarities in static data-points as well as for more subtle features, such as tenderness in a company’s tech stack, savviness in social media, and changes in headcount over time.

Track buying signals from your ideal customer profile companies

You have a lot to gain by reaching out to potential customers immediately when a new need occurs in the organization, if not before this need has even materialized.

As soon as you have a clear idea of the companies you should be targeting, track every important buying signal within these accounts, using these insights to increase the success rate of your efforts in sales and marketing.

Ideal customer profile and account-based marketing

Account-based marketing (ABM) is one of the most-hyped marketing strategies. And for a reason. Because ABM concentrates most resources on the highest-value prospective customers possible, the return is likely to be higher compared to other more traditional tactics.

A detailed ideal customer profile is a perfect starting point for an ABM strategy. An ideal customer profile reveals perfect-fit characteristics of your target accounts, and ABM methods deliver highly targeted, personalized campaigns based on those particular attributes of an account. It's a perfect match.

So, one of the key success factors for an ABM program is the specificity of your target account lists. Unfortunately, if you’re solely relying on basic firmographic data points, you might notice that you’re not always able to find the companies you’re looking for. This is especially true if you’re trying to approach a specific vertical that is not part of a national or international standard industry classification system. Vainu's AI-based industry classification system solves this issue. If you want to find out how Vainu Custom Industries can help your account-based marketing campaigns, we've got the article for you—read it here.  

Template: Ideal Customer Profile

Sorry, there’s no such thing as a “universal” Ideal Customer Profile

As with everything really worth having – finding your Ideal Customer Profile takes work. There is no universal “ICP” definition, not for any company. This set of defined criteria is constantly evolving, as different companies stand to gain value from your product or service at different intervals of time. Reevaluate this description of your Ideal Customer Profile every 6-9 months to use your time more efficiently in sales.

Topics: Ideal Customer Profile

Erika Granath

Vainu's Content Marketing Manager. Grew up next to Sweden's largest cookie factory. Love cookies (of course), ping pong tournaments and word jokes.